Depression vs. Sadness: When to Seek Professional Help

Depression vs. Sadness: When to Seek Professional Help

Tuesday, July 18th, 2023

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Depression vs. Sadness: When to Seek Professional Help

Tuesday, July 18th, 2023

Depression vs. Sadness: When to Seek Professional Help

clinical depression

We all experience sadness occasionally. It’s a natural human response to life’s challenges and disappointments. But when does sadness cross the line into the territory of clinical depression? Understanding the difference between the two can be the first step toward wellness.

Defining Characteristics of Clinical Depression

Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is more than just having the blues for a few days. It’s a severe mental health problem characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and a lack of interest or pleasure in activities. These feelings can be so overwhelming that they interfere with daily life, including work, school and relationships.

While everyone’s depression experience is unique, the various physical and emotional problems can include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, emptiness, hopelessness or pessimism
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Sleep problems, such as insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Thoughts of death or ending your life

What Is a Depression Screening?

Depression is a severe health condition and a leading cause of disability worldwide. While being clinically depressed can make you feel like you don’t deserve to feel better, that’s part of the disease, not a reflection of the truth.

If you’ve been experiencing depression symptoms that interfere with your life for longer than two weeks, help is available. The best starting point is by seeing a health provider for a depression screening. A doctor will ask you questions about your thoughts and emotions, and may also do a blood test to rule out other illnesses that can resemble depression. While a screening is not the same as an official diagnosis, it can help you determine whether you might be experiencing clinical depression and guide the next steps in your recovery plan.

Effective Treatment for Depression

At Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services, we understand that living with clinical depression can feel isolating and hopeless. But recovery is possible with a combination of lifestyle changes, medication and therapy. For example, exercising is an excellent way to regulate your mood, while antidepressants can manage the chemical imbalances that contribute to depression. A therapist can teach you new ways of thinking and behaving to reduce depressive symptoms.

As a nationally accredited mental and behavioral health treatment center, we offer comprehensive, individualized plans to address each client’s unique needs. With our highly structured programming, our team of experts can prescribe medication and monitor you for side effects.

Clinical depression can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone, and help is available. At Pine Grove, we are always here to help you navigate your journey to recovery. If you are struggling with depression, reach out to us today to learn more about our adult psychiatric partial hospitalization program and other offerings.